My place to share lots of photographs of my random crafty, makery, bakery and cookery projects, as well as random thoughts that might strike me and are too long for Twitter...

Friday, 3 August 2012

Listography: 5 Things I DON'T Hate About The Olympics 2012

If you missed my previous posts, here are Top 5 Reasons I Hate The Olympics 2012, and 5 More Things I Hate About The Olympics 2012.

But, the Olympics aren't all bad, even to me. So, here are 5 Things I DON'T Hate About The Olympics 2012.

1). The Awesome Nails/Hair Statements. All of the atheletes have their national uniforms that must be worn at all times when competing, but they, especially the ladies, are finding some wonderful ways of showing off their patriotic spirit/personalities. There have been some iffy moments (oh Ryan Lochte, you don't need a sparkly diamond grill to be pretty), but on the whole, they have been awesome. Also, I REALLY want to visit the nail bar in the video above.

Photo Rob Schumacher, USA Today Sports

2). Animals are allowed to compete. Well, horses. But seriously, I think horses should be paving the way for other animals in sport. We could have a whole animal Olympics, really. Rabbit hurdles, guinea pig long-jump, alligator/shark swimming (seperate pools, obviously), sheep racing, squirrel gymnastics, gorilla wrestling (two gorillas, not gorilla vs human), snail racing, monkey tennis (sorry foreigners who haven't seen Alan Partridge...just laugh, it's funny I assure you), and I'm fairly certain monkeys could be trained to fling discus and javelin instead of poo, there are definite possibilities here. Obviously the Olympic Village would have to be way more segregated than it is at the moment, just for the safety of the atheletes, but I think it could work.*

3). The red button. The BBC channels (for people in other countries where it might not...) have an extra features menu, that appears if you press the red button on your remote, and allow you to view other content/programmes that are additional to what's on the regular channel. The Olympics have a menu all of their own, which essentially allow you to flick through all of the sports live, and choose which live feed you want to watch. This basically means that you can flick through and look for the most attractive atheletes (I mean...most interesting sport...), and bingo! I love this feature.

4). We actually appear to be quite good at quite a lot of it. Sadly, we usually seem to focus all of our money, attention and TV coverage in England on sports that we are profoundly bad at. Football, cricket...Football...Cricket...You get the jist. It's nice to see us actually being televised at being good at something.

5). The Opening Ceremony was actually pretty awesome. Granted, we didn't (IMO) top the giant inflatible beavers, and there were some sketchy moments, like Paul McCartney, the formation Abe Lincolns (come on, non-UK residents...When you first saw it did you think Isambard Kingdom Brunel, or Abraham Lincoln? Honestly?), and the NHS bit with the commentator reporting that "Children are often afraid of staying in hospital...Here children's book characters make it less frightening..." as a giant puppet Voldemort seemingly lifted a small girl's hospital bed up into the air accompanied by scary music and fired sparks out of his wand. But on the whole, I enjoyed it, and I have to say, I LOVED the idea for the flame, it was just beautiful.

* FYI...I am opposed to cruelty to animals/real-life animal "sports" that involve any kind of cruelty at all.

22-04-12 - Disney Hollywood Studios

On Sunday, we headed for Disney Hollywood Studios. I think this was possibly another park that we didn't quite get the best out of, though we did go back a second (and maybe a 3rd?) time.
I'll spare you all the stuff about where we parked, etc, etc. The parks all have really cute names for their car parks. But, if you care, you probably already know all about that! Take it as read that arrival at the parks (unless otherwise specified) went pay, park, get on golf-cart train, get off golf-cart train, enter park. :)
I didn't really know what to expect from DHS. Like AK, for me it was one of the peripheral attractions when we were planning our trip, and I hadn't really done much research on it, other than it had Muppet Vision 3D and Star Tours, both of which we really wanted to see/ride.
I loved DHS! The theming was awesome, especially all the 50s buildings.

We decided that, as we had done the rest of the holiday, we would just go on whatever rides we stumbled across with short lines! First up: The Great Movie Ride! I fell in love with the queuing area! I love film props, especially costumes.

Mary Poppins' carousel horse! I love Mary Poppins, my copy of it had no credits at the start or the end because I'd worn them off watching it so much!!

The Great Movie Ride is...well...GREAT! There was a little too much "rider interaction" for my liking, and I don't really like scary movies (and have a REALLY low threshold for scary!), but I still really enjoyed it even though I hadn't seen some of the films referenced. My favourite bit was definitely The Wizard Of Oz! I love that film, and Munchkinland looked just like it does in the film.

I was glad one of John's favourite films was in there too...Casablanca!  We actually had a Casablanca-themed wedding reception! I didn't manage to get a shot of that scene though. :( The plane used in the Casablanca scene is actually only half a plane. The back half is in the Jungle Cruise! Also, it's not the plane used in the actual film. Apparently some tour guides still say/hint that it is. Do you really think Disney would be allowed to cut the real plane in half?! No way!! (Plus there was only one real plane in Casablanca, and it wasn't used in the closing scenes...It's the one that delivers Major Strasser).

We had a good wander around before we went on anything else. One of the things John remembered for MGM Studios (as it was last time he went) was the Indiana Jones show, so we decided to head in for a showing of that.

 We tried to only eat one meal a day in the parks, and go somewhere else for something different. It didn't always work, but that was the theory! For lunch we decided to hit up Pizza Planet. First though I stopped for some snaps of The Muppets!

We ♥ The Muppets! :D

The view from our table...Looking out at Swedish Chef Catering!
 The pizza was scrumptious, I see now why I've seen so many great reviews of Disney pizza! Even Pizza Hut pizza isn't as nice as Disney pizza. We ate upstairs in Pizza Planet, watched over by the three-eyed aliens (one of my favourite TS characters!). I found a souvenir from Pizza Planet in my bag when we got home...Cheese in a packet!! Now, maybe this is normal over there, but I can honestly say I have never seen paremesan cheese in little (like sugar) packets before!

We decided to stick with the galactic theme, and star the post-lunch rides with Star Tours. We struck REALLY lucky that day. The quoted wait time was over an hour, however we wandered up past Tattooine Traders (I was really impressed that it looked "Just like it does in the film!" Only to be told that there is no Tattooine Traders in the film. I guess Star Wars just isn't Disney enough for me to pay 100% attention!!) to see what everyone was standing around staring at. Turns out we had just missed the Pixar Pals parade! :( However, whilst we were standing around bemoaning our bad timing (well, I was, John didn't really care!) the CM in charge of the queue opened the lines back up again. "Are you waiting to ride Star Tours?" she asked. We replied that yes, were were now! And we were let straight in first! No 60+min queue for us! We did meet the back of the queue who must've been waiting since before the parade, but we only had about a 10min wait. Buh-bye, 60+min queue!!
 The queue for ST is like an intergalactic airport, with R2D2, C3PO, and other characters from the film interacting around you. I was actually a little disappointed that we didn't have a few more minutes to take in the sights, as it was SO well done (well, what did I expect, it is Disney, after all!). Soon we had collected our 3D glasses (which, bizarrely, were different both times we went on the ride? Not sure if they switched from one design to the other and we were on the cross-over period, but I found that a little weird!) and were loaded into our space craft.
I'm glad that I took this picture of John in the 3D flight goggles...because they are totally different to the ones you see on everyone else's pictures, and also the ones we got later in the trip! Mine were the same, old-fashioned style 3D glasses. The ones we had on our next "flight" were the usual silvered ones.

I wasn't sure what to expect from ST, not being a Star Wars fan (I love Yoda and the Ewoks, and know the plot from "The Saga Begins" thanks to the Weird Al Yankovic song...and here endeth my Star Wars knowledge). I LOVED it. I think I'd go as far as to say that I loved it more than John, who isn't overly into the in-your-face simulator rides (it's hard to tell, his outward enthusiasm barely putters above level 2-3 on a normal person's scale). It was definitely one of my favourite rides, and I love the fact that every time you ride it the story is different. Awesome, AWESOME idea. You exit, of course, into Tattooine Traders. I think it was on one of the buses at Nasa that the driver told us about the most important Florida State Law: Always Exit Through The Gift Shop. It's funny but true, EVERY major attraction has it's exit doors open straight into a gift shop! Seriously, if we ever go with children, I am taking Post-Ride Blindfolds to be put on at the end of every ride. Wayyyyyyyy cheaper!

After we'd had our fill of browsing in Tattooine Traders, we headed back to The Muppet theatre, via the awesome...er...space...bike...thing.

To The Muppet Theatre!!

Cutest. Queuing. Area. EVER. I took more photographs of it later in our trip...Once again on this visit, we just walked in right as the doors were open and Bingo! No queue. S'ok, you can hate me later. :P

Did I mention how much my husband LOVES The Muppets?! I think this was one of the best bits of the trip for him.

I forgot to take a photo of us in our Muppet-Vision 3D glasses. :( Oh well. The Muppet Show is amazing, I loved it. Bean Bunny is one of my very favourite characters (carol-singing in Muppet Christmas Carol?! SO adorable!!), and I think he's normally really under-used, so this show made me really happy!

Even the shop is perfectly themed, with cute little signs all over the place, it was brilliant.

We went for a wander next (I think we were headed for Streets Of America? Can't remember now), and we spotted a Meet 'n' Greet spot, so we joined the queue!

Ka-chow! It's Lightning McQueen! And Tow Mater!! :D

We found the Singing In The Rain umbrella!

I told John to do a Singing In The Rain pose. I guess he wasn't into that.

I was! The best bit of the whole umbrella escapade was the Hispanic family waiting to use the umbrella after us. Whilst I held this pose, I slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwly rotated backwards like a saloon door. They were so bemused by the crazy English girl, they couldn't stop laughing!! Fortunately, neither could I!
Streets Of America.

Lights, Motors, Action! Unfortunately we didn't get to see the show. :( I would have been a lot more keen to see it if I'd realised that Lightning McQueen was in it!

The fountain from Splash!

Props from Pirates of the Caribbean!

Waiting for The Backlot Tour.

The shed from Hannah Montana: The Movie...*ahem*...Apparently. So I'm told...
I've totally seen the movie. In the cinema. It was awesome. *oh the shame*
Some props on the way to the little tram cars. I didn't get any shots of the pre-tour show.

The Earfel Tower! :D

The Costume Dept. I SOOOOOOOOO want to work there. That would be my dream job. Unfortunately 9.5hrs is a bit of a long commute. :(


N234MM...One of the planes Walt Disney used to scout areas in Florida to place Walt Disney World.

Catastrophe Canyon.


Surprisingly, I DIDN'T get wet! John did, but not much.
The pumps and cannons that cause the catastrophe.

The N234MM again.

Haven't we all got some?!

One thing I really wanted to see at DHS was Beauty And The Beast. It really made me want to see the whole show!

My favourite costume of all! Katy Perry meets Beauty And The Beast!!

Mrs Potts has clearly been pulling a few all-nighters!

It was starting to look busier when we got out of the show, so we headed for a wander around.

This beautiful car was just parked up outside!!

I chickened out and we didn't go on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Maybe next time.

I had heard LOADS of recommendations for Fantasmic! at DHS, and so I knew that we would have to stick around for that! All of the guide books and websites recommended getting there at least an hour before the show started. I can't remember quite what time we arrived, but it was at least an hour! We got some popcorn and (totally amazing) caramel corn, and took our seats. This was about the time we realised the difference between caramel corn and popcorn. We'd expected caramel corn to be like Butterkist toffee popcorn, and popcorn to be like cinema sweet popcorn. Apparently not. Popcorn is always salty. :S

Great view!!

The down-side to getting to Fantasmic! really early: The "entertainers" they have warming up (/winding up) the crowd. They were awful. SO annoying. Also the waiting music is loads of really bad modern versions of Disney classic tracks. Yeah...the wait was probably the least fun we had on Disney property. However, the show was worth the wait a hundred times over.

Yay! The awful "entertainers" are gone!! :D

Here they come!! Fantasmic! is where you can see the most characters in one place at one time in any park.

And that concludes our day at Disney Hollywood Studios! :D Fantastmic! was an amazing show, I loved it. Not as much as I love Wishes, which I think is my all-time favourite show EVER, but it was pretty damn good!

After we left DHS we headed to Hooters for something to eat. We're hockey people, it was the play-offs...perfect place for us! Plus I love Hooters (I think I love it more than John, how weird is that?!) and at home, the nearest Hooters is about 50 miles away, so we only get to go once or twice a year. We got an AWESOME table, we could see hockey on about 5 screens all around us. I had my usual boneless BBQ wings, but I had to splash out this time and had dessert too! The funniest/most uncomfortable thing at Hooters was the table full of guys sat behind us. They were majorly hitting on their (and our) waitress, telling her all about how they worked at Disney World, they got all these freebies, the cast shop, blah blah blah. You could tell she'd heard it a million times before! They were asking her all these questions, to "win" fastpasses for Splash Mountain (where one of them supposedly worked). In the end they tipped her in fastpasses for Splash Mountain. She was complaining to us that now she has to spend her own money to get to use her tip! She didn't pass them on though...haha!